In pictures: Putting Palembang on the tourism map
IN A WEEK, the 2018 Asian Games, otherwise known as the 18th Asian Games, will be held in the Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
Jakarta is no stranger to being in the spotlight, being Indonesia’s massive capital. But Palembang in South Sumatra is relatively new to all the attention.
The pan-Asian multi-sport event will have 40 categories, including eSports (gaming) – 14 of them will be contested in Palembang while the rest will be in Jakarta.
This is the first time the Asian Games are being co-hosted in two cities.
The total cost for the 2018 Asian Games is estimated at US$3.2 billion, with US$2.4 billion being spent on infrastructure development surrounding the games.
As the co-host of the games, Palembang has built various facilities, including a light rail transit (LRT) service from Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport to Jakabaring City Stadium and the Tourist Information Center (TIC) at the airport.
These facilities and services will make it more convenient for domestic and foreign tourists, but there’s still lots to learn about Palembang before you visit the city.
Palembang is the oldest city in Indonesia and the second most populous city on Sumatra after Medan, with an estimated population of over 1.7 million people.
It covers 369.22 square kilometers (142.56 square miles) of land in total but is divided into two areas – Ilir and Ulu – as it is separated by the Musi River. The Ampera Bridge, which is a major Palembang landmark, connects the two.
Ilir is the main economic and political center and the center of activities while Ulu is less developed than its counterpart, but is undergoing massive development.
This includes the integrated sports facility Jakabaring Sport City complex at Palembang, which had its seating capacity decreased to 27,000 for the 2018 Asian Games.
Because of Indonesia’s rich history, the city boasts many historical landmarks, a vibrant culture, and a diverse culinary scene.
One should never forget to savory the pempek, a savory fishcake made of fish and tapioca usually served with rich sweet and sour sauce called kuah cuka.
Last year, Palembang welcomed 9,850 foreign tourists. Although it is not among the popular tourist destinations in Indonesia, the spotlight on the city over the 2018 Asian Games is expected to draw tourists.
Getting to Palembang is easy, as its Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport serves both local and international airlines, and it’s only an hour’s flight away from Jakarta.
Take a look at what the city has to offer:
According to Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, the 2018 Asian Games aim to welcome 250,000 supporters from ASEAN and other Asian countries. It is with the hope that visitors will feel inclined to visit other islands of the Indonesian archipelago.
The 2018 Asian Games will take place from Aug 18, 2018, to Sept 2, 2018, in Jakarta and Palembang.